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SOLHEIM CUP MEDIA CONFERENCE
August 10, 2016
Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Solheim Cup Announcement
CAPTAIN INKSTER: Good morning everybody. We're here at Des Moines Country Club looking at the great facility here. It's going to be an amazing venue. I just want to announce that - and I'm sure it's not a shocker - we're going go with the same assistant captains as we had last year, being Nancy Lopez, Wendy Ward, and Pat Hurst.
I just felt like everybody brought a special thing to the team and we worked really well as a team. Everybody put their voice in, and I liked it that they spoke up when they thought things weren't going the right way or they thought we needed to change something.
I don't need some "yes" people. I need people to speak up. With these three, I definitely feel like I have that. It's not a dictatorship. I want everybody involved, and I feel like I got that with them.
Really excited that they decided to come on board for 2017. We're looking forward to getting it going.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
CAPTAIN INKSTER: And they're here by the way, so whoop-whoop, fire away.
Q. The assistant captains, was that a no-brainer, didn't even put any thought into it at all, you knew as soon as it was done you wanted them back?
JULI INKSTER: Well, I had to think about Nancy a little bit. (Laughter.) No, just kidding.
No, it was a no-brainer. I just thought everybody handled their area perfectly. We all really just worked as one. I loved the camaraderie we had. I think the team really embraced all three of them.
I just think it's a laid-back group, and that's kind of the atmosphere I wanted to project for 2015 and now for '17.
Q. Is there a specific instance you could share where you said you didn't want a bunch of "yes" people where maybe one stepped up in the heat of battle and you took their advice and ran with it and it worked out really well?
CAPTAIN INKSTER: Yeah, especially in pairings, especially last-day pairings. I kind of wanted to put Morgan out there first and I wanted to put -- who else was it? I can't remember.
Nancy spoke up and said, I think Morgan would be better second. Lexi is playing really good. She likes to play fast. Let's get her out there first.
The more of I thought about it, I just thought that was great. Because Paula usually went first in everything, and I just didn't feel like Paula would've been better at the end of the caboose which she never did before, and everybody kind of agreed with that.
Then we moved Stacy Lewis around. We had her up top early, and we just felt like maybe in the middle we're going to need someone to turn it around.
And then also, you know, as far as just every day-to-day things, some of the things I didn't have time to be involved in, they really took the ball as far as getting people where they're supposed to be at what time.
So everybody just took some -- what's the word I'm looking for? Leadership. Yeah, and ran with it. I didn't have to worry about them. I knew whatever they did would've been right for the team.
Q. Question about one of the players who was a big part of the last two Solheims. Gerina Piller. I know you share her hometown, Roswell. She's in the Olympics next week. It's got to be exciting for you as someone who shares those roots.
NANCY LOPEZ: Well, I mean, Gerina is a fantastic person, first of all, but what a great golfer. Talked to her a little bit this year. I know she wants to win really badly. Sometimes that kind of paralyzes us a little bit when we want to do that.
But she loves playing golf. She loves being a part of something like the Solheim Cup. I think she's great with a team, because, you know, golf is so individual.
I think what she did for the Solheim Cup in 2015, as other players did also, you know, she was there to win it. She gave 100%. Of course the pressure putt was really on her, and that was probably the biggest putt in her whole career that she will ever experience.
Individual wins are great, but when you're on a U.S. team and you're playing for the Solheim Cup, it's even greater. I'm just real proud of her. I believe she's going to be on the team. I can't imagine her not. She will add so much to the team. Being from there it's.
And being from Roswell, New Mexico, it's kind of neat to be able to follow her knowing we both came from the same place.
Q. Question for Juli and Nancy. What will it be like for you to see three Americans competing in the Olympics? What would it have meant to you to have had a chance like that?
CAPTAIN INKSTER: I'll go ahead. It's great. It's great that we have three ladies representing the United States in the Olympics. I felt like when we played the World Amateur and the Curtis Cup, that was kind of our Olympics.
So I personally feel that they're going to go there and represent well. I'm not sure that -- you know, I would have loved to have the opportunity to do that, but it's not the end of the world. I think this is something that was probably coming for a while, and we'll just see how it plays out.
NANCY LOPEZ: I'm excited that golf is in the Olympics. I think so many times when I hear people say golfers aren't athletes they're totally wrong. These players work out and work hard and slave over a hot golf ball or hot club a lot. For them to be able to show their talent there and to receive a gold medal...
At first I wasn't sure about the individual thing, but it makes sense, because if they're a part of a team and that partner doesn't play well it kind of stops them from winning a gold medal.
So I think individually it was a good decision to have them play there as individuals. But exciting. I'm a little nervous. I hope everything goes well over there and they're safe. All the world is there, and just want to make sure they get back safe and I'll be excited about it then.
Q. I wanted to ask Juli, much has been made about what the crowd support will be like in Iowa next year. I'm curious sort of what's it's been like in the run-up and if you've felt that in the community already, and then what you feel like in your playing days was the best crowd support you got in the States, what venue and maybe how that carried you, how big of an impact that had.
CAPTAIN INKSTER: The community has really embraced this, and not only at the country club, but all areas outside that. As far as gallery-wise, probably be our biggest as far as the red, white, and blue. I think probably Muirfield Village is the best comparison. They're very oriented in Columbus, Ohio. They have hockey and they Ohio State, the Ohio State, but they don't have any other professional organizations there. This is kind of the way Iowa is.
They have the Hawkeyes, but we're going to be the best thing in town going. They're going to come from everywhere: Minnesota, Chicago, all of Iowa. So I think it's going to be great for women's golf to be able to showcase our skills here.
We got to go around the golf course, and it's just a beautiful layout. There are a lot have little bridges and lakes. It's going to showcase very well.
NANCY LOPEZ: It's fan-friendly too.
CAPTAIN INKSTER: Yeah, it's fan-friendly. You can watch a couple holes from different spots. Tee to green is close, so you're going to get an up-close-and-personal view of the Solheim Cup.
Q. For Morgan and Brittany, as players, how nice is it to have the continuity of the returning assistant captains? Ryder Cup has realized they need more continuity in terms of captains year to year. From players, are you glad to see the continuity?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, for sure. We all knew that Juli certainly deserved to be captain the first time, and then I think it was a no-brainer to have her again captain Team U.S.A. in the States, especially after the incredible job the team did.
It certainly wasn't a surprise that the same crew was coming back. It's exciting for us as players. We know what to expect going in. We know how the week is going to go, how we can prepare, and we all get along so well and have so much fun together.
So I think all those are different key factors.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I totally agree with Morgan. I think we all kind of voted for Juli to come back. We wanted her to come back really bad. Just the way she led us and brought us together as a team, you know, maybe it was the pod system or it was just Juli and we all wanted to come together and be the best we can be for her.
For her to come become and lead us again, I mean, any direction Juli would take me I would follow her to the end. It's an honor to be hopefully playing for her again next year.
Q. Question for Juli, Morgan, and Brittany: In what ways has the historic nature of the Germany victory stayed or lingered with you?
CAPTAIN INKSTER: I talked about it last night at dinner. We came back and we won that as a team. Regardless of winning and losing, my greatest thrill was to see how these ladies all played for each other and got along so well.
I think the last couple Solheim Cups I think we were getting away from that. Just to see them come together and root for each other -- and not only root for each other, but just the way they hung out together, it was great to see.
I think that's what the Solheim is about: coming together as a team and having those memories of dinners and memories of maybe a ping-pong game or just hanging out and talking.
I think that was the greatest thrill for me, just to see how they played for each other.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Regarding how we were all hanging out together, Solheim Cups are high-pressure situations and high-pressure environments. We're all hyped up to be there. Juli created this relaxed atmosphere that I don't know that we had ever had before.
When we were in the team room preparing for the next day, everything was really chill. We didn't bring that pressure home.
I think that that made us really well-prepared for singles. We were ready to go. We were not tired. I think those are things that will certainly carry into Des Moines, even though being the home team it'll probably be a little bit crazier for us.
But, I mean, it was definitely different than any of the other previous four teams that I have played on.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I pretty much agree with everything everyone else said. I think just coming together as a team and not being separated; the way Juli handed us all. There were times I was allowed to take a nap, which was great.
MORGAN PRESSEL: We all know Brittany needs her naps.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, for sure. Just the way Jules brought us together and how we interacted together will be something I will remember forever.
THE MODERATOR: Last night they talked a lot at dinner about the Pod system and then we had some nice comments from Brittany and Morgan about the sort of atmosphere and the environment.
How do you hope to move that forward into 2017 or recreate that? Have you thought about some of those keys to success to help us retain the Cup here in the USA?
CAPTAIN INKSTER: I'll answer that. No. (Laughter.)
PAT HURST: We did do the pod system lat time, and I think Juli and I have talked maybe about doing it again, but not sure what we're going to do. But we'll do whatever Juli wants us to do. I think we'll probably try and stick to the same agenda and hopefully have the same outcome.
WENDY WARD: Yeah, this is Wendy. You know, one of the things I'll always remember with Juli is her talk before the final round and saying, You know what, guys? I don't know if this pod system worked or not, but all I know is I saw you guys come together.
If that means four or five of us at time times three, then that was certainly part of gel that made 2015 come out the way it did. I think it's a great concept. I think it takes a lot of homework and heart to implement it, but I guess we'll talk about that. We haven't had a whole bunch of time to talk about the plan. It certainly was a great concept, and Juli did a great job bringing it to fruition.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you all for calling in.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports